Basset Hound in Heat (Symptoms, Frequency, Stages and Handling)

If you have ever been around Basset Hound dog in heat you know what is like. It requires more of your attention and patience than usual. If you have another dog in your household which an intact male then this period might be really challenging for you.

Basset Hound dogs go into their first heat around 6-9 months of age. Heat cycles repeat every 6 months or so. Bassets stay in heat for around 3 weeks during which the most recognizable symptoms are swollen vulva, bloody discharge, and behavioral changes. Spaying procedure is highly recommended as it can improve quality and prolong Basset’s life.

What Age Does a Basset Hound Go Into Heat?

Basset Hound dogs usually go into their first heat around 6 months of age. Still, the age when dogs experience first heat may vary. So the symptoms may appear as early as at 4 months of age but also later when Basset is 9 months old.

How Often Do Bassets Go Into Heat?

Approximately Bassets go into heat every 6 months, so around 2 times a year. Bear in mind the frequency may vary, especially in the beginning so it’s recommended to keep a record of it. It can take up to two years for some dogs to develop regular cycles.

How Long Does Basset Stay In Heat?

The whole heat cycle in Bassets lasts for approximately 3 weeks, the same as in the other breeds.

The heat cycles has 3 stages.

The first stage of the cycle (Proestrus) usually lasts for 7 days during which you can notice that Basset’s vulva is swollen, bloody discharge, and possibly she urinates more than usual. During this period Basset female is not receptive to males although they will be hanging around her pretty much if you let them.

The second stage (Estrus) is a dangerous one, it can last anywhere from 4-21 days but usually lasts for 7 days. Bleeding is either stopped or if there is any discharge, it is pale in color and in small quantity. The swelling of the vulva subsides but it remains soft enough to enable penetration. This is the period when Basset is ready to mate. According to the vets, the most fertile day is somewhere between 9-12th days of the cycle.

The third stage (Diestrus) can also last from 4-21 days but usually lasts for 7 days, female is not receptive to males as she is slowly going out of the heat.

How To Know That My Basset Hound Is in Heat?

Basset Hound in heat shows many signs both physical and behavioral, so you cannot miss it.

The classical symptoms are:

  • Swollen vulva ( enlarged and red)
  • Bloody discharge ( red, yellow, or brown )
  • Licking the back area more than usual
  • Urinating more than usual
  • Weeing, crying, or moaning ( mating call )

You may notice some change associated with your Basset’s appetite. She may have increased appetite or become a picky eater for a short time.

Completely house-trained Basset that starts peeing in your bed? Highly likely while in heat! She is marking the territory, trying to ”spread” the message to other dogs that she is willing to mate.

Some Bassets may become tired, not so willing to play while in heat. Others may see like on the edge, restless with excessive pacing and panting.

Basset in heat may become cranky but also clingy and more attached to you, looking for more of your attention.

Don’t be surprised if you notice that your otherwise calm dog now has the urge to escape and seek a mate.

What To Expect When My Basset Goes Into Heat?

Having a dog in heat raises many questions. Apart from classical symptoms what else you can expect while your pet is in heat. How to handle her properly?

If you know what to expect and how to handle your pet, you both will go through this period easier.

Do Bassets Change After First Heat?

Your Basset shouldn’t change in terms of physical appearance or character after her first heat.

Any change your might noticed during her heat cycle should vanish after the cycle is over. Her appetite, energy level, mood, everything should be returned to normal after she goes out of the heat.

Do Bassets Bleed The Whole Time They Are In Heat?

Basset Hound dogs are not bleeding during the whole heat cycle. Bleeding is characteristic of the first phase of the cycle called Proestrus. This stage, as we mentioned before lasts around 7 days.

The bloody discharge should be red in color but don’t be surprised if you see no discharge at all, or if you see some dry blood stains in your dog’s bed or on the floor.

Dogs in heat are licking themselves much more than usual so they really keep them clean.

During the next stage, called Estrus when your Basset female is ready to mate, bloody discharge is also possible but in less quantity and pale in color ( light yellow or pink ).

If you have a problem with Basset’s bleeding you can get some doggy diapers that can be perfect for those days, keeping your house cleaner. However, don’t expect diapers to keep your female safe from males.

Putting diapers is not a dog contraception method as any male will easily find a way no matter female is wearing diapers.

You can also use doggy heat pants for the same purpose.

If your Basset doesn’t use diapers or heat pants, you can place some absorbent pads on her regular resting area.

Does Being In Heat Hurt Basset Hound Dogs?

Basset Hounds females don’t feel the pain during the heat cycle. If you compare the heat cycle in dogs and the menstrual period in humans ( which is why you expect dogs to feel some pain or cramps during this period) you realize that those two things are opposite.

During the heat cycle in dogs, the canine uterus lining is building up, becoming soft and juicy, ready to receive embryos while the human uterus, during the menstrual period, is shedding its lining and reverting to a normal state.

Should I Walk My Basset While In Heat?

Of course, you should walk your Basset while in heat. But you have to take many precautions.

First of all, never leave your Basset unsupervised outside, not even in your own yard with a good fence.

Never walk off-leash your Basset in heat.

Although Bassets are not as active as some other breeds, they do require a moderate but regular amount of exercise and walk. Bear in mind that during heat some Bassets might feel tired so adjust the level of activity to your dog’s state.

Purchase a GPS tracker, that can help you find your dog in case she escapes. Finding her before she finds a mate, can save her from unwanted pregnancy and some other complications.

If you don’t have a GPS tracker, make sure the ID tag and microchip information is up to date.

I heard from some owners that applying a tiny amount of Vicks Vapor Rub on the base of your Basset’s tail may prevent males from approaching your dog.

However make sure your Basset doesn’t lick the spot where you applied Vicks because menthol, camphor, and other ingredients might be toxic to dogs if ingested.

Try also walking in less sociable hours like super early in the morning or late in the evening when is less likely to meet other dogs.

If it happens that your Basset finds a mate and she starts mating before you reach her, you should know that it is not recommended to separate them.

If you do, you can harm both dogs, as the limbs of your dog are swelling and the muscles are contracted.

Should I Bathe My Basset While In Heat?

There is nothing wrong with bathing a Basset in heat. Moreover keeping good hygiene during these days can only help. You can also wipe her rear end regularly, once or twice a day, this could reduce the odor and help her stay clean.

Of course, don’t bathe your dog too often, always use shampoos formulated for dogs, never those for humans. Stick to the general rule of thumb which says that dogs should be bathed more often in spring, summer, and fall months and less often during wintertime.

How Do I Comfort My Basset While In Heat?

A dog in heat may become clingy, seeking extra attention. Do give your Basset that extra time and attention she asks for.

Also playing some soothing music can help her calm down. Just be careful as if music has vibrant beats or sounds that can be mistaken for other animals, this can make the situation worse, causing your Basset girl to react in an undesirable way.

Dogs in heat need a quiet and safe place to rest. Provide such a place in your home and allow her to rest as much as she wants.

Some Bassets are pretty restless and have a lot of pent-up energy during the heat. If you have one, do provide a lot of enrichment and interesting toys to keep her mind occupied.

In case you have an intact male in your home, you definitely need to move your female in heat away. You can check with your breeder if he/she is willing to take her while in heat.

Breeders know how to handle the dog in heat as well as dog-dog contact when one dog is in heat so this would be the best solution.

She doesn’t have to spend three weeks there but she should be kept away from an intact male at least during the first two stages of the heat cycle.

What Is The Best Age To Spay My Basset Hound?

If you are not a breeder, it’s recommended to spay your Basset Hound before she hits the first heat cycle. Spaying her before the first heat period decreases significantly the chance of getting mammary cancer.

The experts say that if you spay your Basset before she goes into first heat, the chances of getting mammary cancer are almost 0%. If you get the procedure done after the first heat, then chances to get the cancer are 7%. Spaying her after the second heat increases the chance of getting cancer to 25%.

Can I Spay My Basset While In Heat?

Generally, a spaying procedure can be performed while your Basset is in heat although most vets don’t recommend it.

Performing a spaying procedure while the dog is in heat may carry many complications. The procedure involves ovaries and in most cases uterus removal. During heat, both uterus and ovaries are swollen so it will be challenging for the surgeon to detect ovaries. Plus it likely to be more bleeding if the surgery is done during the heat cycle which can lead to death because of major blood loss.

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